Inside Track: Entrepreneurs raise the bar for women riders to cycle in style

Moxiecycling, a small business owned by two women, Deb Amorde and Brooke Freiborg, that makes bicycling jerseys that are styled for women.

Sometimes starting a new business just takes a good idea and a little "moxie."

Deb Amorde and Brooke Freiborg, ardent bicyclists, decided a few years ago that the industry needed jerseys designed for women.

"I did a hand-sewn prototype in 2009," recalled Freiborg, 29. "Women riders have unique needs and other sports have made significant strides in women's' apparel.''

This year, Freiborg expects Moxie Cycling to sell about 1,000 of its locally made jerseys in each of 10 styles at $58 apiece through its website, www.moxiecycling.com, and Teamestrogen.com, and at local races and bike shops across 12 states.

Amorde and Freiborg, who has cut back her hours at her day job at Hot Dish Advertising, knew they were on to something when they sold 200 Moxie jerseys in eight hours at the 2011 RAGBRAI, the annual week-long ride across Iowa.

Freiborg and Amorde, 40, who works for TN Marketing in Wayzata, have developed a product that's a hit with women willing to spend a couple of hours or all day in the saddle.

The features include a moisture-transport fabric, ergonomic seams, a U-shaped neckline for style and comfort, removable bra cups and a longer silhouette that prevents upward "jersey creep."

Women appreciate the designs and men compliment the look, Freiborg said about the stylish jerseys that are manufactured locally.

GOING TO BAT FOR FINANCIAL LITERACY

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman was hanging out last week with TC Bear, the Minnesota Twins mascot, and a bunch of St. Paul kids.

Rothman, kicking off a statewide financial literacy essay contest for school kids, is Gov. Mark Dayton's point man on improving Minnesotan's understanding of the language of consumer finance, how to manage a checkbook, budget, handle credit and how to avoid getting snookered.

The effort is supported by other state agencies, school districts, businesses and consumer groups.

The department is working with business educators, the department of education, financial planners and others on everything from a basic curriculum for school kids to tips for senior citizens and help for military families. Every Minnesotan should understand the hidden dangers of consumer credit cards, as well as the power of budgeting and thrift.

The grade school essay contest was announced at Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet Elementary School in St. Paul. All Minnesota kids in grades three through five are encouraged to participate. The questions?

"What three steps can you take this month to make smart decisions with your money?" I've known lots of guys in $1,500 suits who flunked that one. The winner will receive Twins tickets and other valuables. More information: mn.gov/commerce/consumers/financial-literacy.

CATHY HAUKEDAHL HONORED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE

Veteran lawyer Cathy Haukedahl will receive the Minnesota State Bar Association's 2012 David Graven Public Service Award, which goes to the lawyer who best exemplifies the high standards of the profession in combination with a commitment to public or community service.

In 2011, Haukedahl took over as executive director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance (MMLA), which provides legal access to the disadvantaged in 20 counties, including Hennepin. She also runs three statewide programs: the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the Legal Services Advocacy Project and the Minnesota State Support Center.

Haukedahl served eight years as MMLA deputy director for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. Before joining Legal Aid, she was solicitor general and a constitutional litigator for the state attorney general and worked in employment and commercial law at Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt.

"I was a [legal] volunteer throughout my three careers in private practice, government service and legal assistance," Haukedahl said.

Haukedahl, a 1979 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, will be honored at the state bar association meeting on April 26.

Haukedahl also will host MMLA's annual Law Day Dinner for about 900 people on May 8, the key fundraiser for the nonprofit that provides legal services to thousands through government grants, law firm and personal philanthropy. More information: www.mylegalaid.org.

SHORT TAKES

•Minnesota's oldest brewer, August Schell of New Ulm, also maker of Grain Belt, has chosen venerable Padilla Speer Beardsley as its agency of record.

These two have been at the dance so long it's kind of sweet to see them get together. And, if memory serves, every DeLaSalle High graduate, at least back in the old days, after reaching legal age, took his first sip of Golden Grain Belt at Elsie's, in the shadow of the old Grain Belt Brewery on Marshall Avenue NE.

"Schell's was making craft beer before the term was coined, and we consider it a privilege ... to help build market share," said Tom Jollie, a Padilla executive.

Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, will explain "Why Wikipedia Matters" at the annual Hendrickson Forum at St. Mary's University of Minneapolis at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. The online encyclopedia, written by contributors, is considered the largest collection of collaborative content ever and, with half a billion readers.

The event will be hosted by Fred de Sam Lazaro, director of the Project for Undertold Stories at St. Mary's and a correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

Yvonne Cheung Ho, CEO of Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), will get the 2012 Hendrickson Medal for Ethical leadership.

The event takes place in the old Zurah Shrine Center event center. More information is at: www.smumn.edu.

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